BLACK POWDER Napoleonics
British vs. French at Cullison's Cards & Games
Having some new British I've not yet to had a chance to play, as well as just re-flagging them with colours from THE FLAG DUDE, I want to take my lads out vs. Monsewer Crapaud.
Rifle Companies, Guard Battalion, and a Line Battalion
Kings German Legion and Hannoverian Battalions
Royal Artillery 9drs, King's German Legion Light Dragoons, and a Royal Horse Artillery 6pdr complete my force for today's battle, a meeting engagement with the French somewhere in southern France after the Allied army crossed the Pyrenees.
The mission for both of these Advanced Guard forces is to push back or destroy the enemy to control the old Roman Road running down the center of the battlefield as it will be useful as a supply route for their armies.
My buddy Tim agrees to play the French, so let's get it on!
The British roll high and "outscout" the enemy so the French deploy first. They have two entry points so they choose to put their infantry brigade, with their Division Commander along with them, on their left and their cavalry brigade on their right.
The British, with only one entry point, are coming onto the battlefield Brigades abreast with the Cavalry on the left and the Infantry on the right.
The British have two elite units, Guard Infantry and Rifle Companies, but the French have one more infantry battalion as well as an additional higher level Division Commander which, as we'll see, will pay big dividends for them. Their successful command rolls has the infantry brigade on their left moving up to engage the British who fail command rolls for a few turns and aren't able to move out and meet the enemy advancing on their position! The French occupy the woods and both small villages to their front with the artillery taking up bombardment positions on the hill.
On the French right, their horse gun artillery engages the enemy and their brigade commander attaches to the Hussars, moving bravely out to the front to take shelter behind the hill with an old stone keep. Frustrated by the infantry brigade's lack of aggressiveness, the British cavalry commander attaches to the Rifle Companies, moves them out to occupy the stone keep in the face of the enemy cavalry, and sends his horse gun up the road to provide fire support. The withering "First Fire" at point blank range from British "Sharpshooters" as well as a couple of casualties caused by the horse gun, sends the Hussars fleeing from the field.
First blood to the British!
With the commander and cavalry gone, the British left flank moves up and destroys the French horse gun by close range fire from the 6pdr and the Rifle Companies.
The enemy right has broken!
Things aren't going so well for the British on their right flank. The Hannoverian battalion that has moved up to the edge of the woods in skirmish formation to try to slow down the French advance, is broken by concentrated fire from the artillery and two Legere battalions.
With his right wide open, the French Division Commander sends a Ligne battalion out to that flank. It moves up and destroys the British horse gun and begins to punish the KGL Light Dragoons.
On the British right, a KGL battalion that moves up does not get the promised support on its left from the field artillery and Guards who fail Command rolls to advance. The KGL is outnumbered and exposed, and it is also routed by concentrated enemy fire from 3 enemy battalions and two field pieces.
The KGL Light Dragoons charge the French Ligne unit, forcing it to square, and evade past it to hit the Legere unit in the flank. The combat is sharp with the Legere unit surviving but being forced back in disorder.
Meanwhile, the Rifle Companies close range fire routs the French Ligne that has reformed into line to try to stop the cavalry that evaded past it and moved to threaten the right flank of the French infantry Brigade. Way to go Rifles!
The KGL cavalry again charges its old opponents, the Legere, which are forced into square. The cavalry, unable to close on the square, evades back and the square is then routed by concentrated cannon and musket fire. Classic Napoleonic Combined Arms tactics WORK in these rules.. one of the reasons I like BLACK POWDER. :)
The Guard battalion finally moves up and forms line and, joined by the 9pdrs and the Line battalion, break another French Ligne unit by concentrated firepower.
The Rifles move up to destroy a French 6pdr but to no avail. After the French fire of the final turn, the Rifles are the only British unit left on the field! The French, not in much better shape, still have a Ligne Battalion as well as their Division Commander on the field.
With no commanders left alive for the British, we decide the Rifles disperse back to the rear to report the slaughter in the fight for the Roman Road. The French claim Victory!